Wednesday, June 15, 2011
The Miracle of Birth
Our story begins mid-May when my OBGYN checked to see how things were coming along, reached up and told me "Oh wow, his head is way down there. Just like a big bowling ball! Let's get an ultrasound to see how big this baby is". To my credit I did not respond with "yeah, no kidding lady, have you seen me try to walk?" I kept my profanities to a minimum, deciding instead to remark that I wasn't aware until that moment just how far up there one's cervix really is and that perhaps she re-asses her definition of the word uncomfortable as it pertains to obstetrics. When the ultrasound tech told me Ruiner was measuring at 8lbs I tried really hard not to cry. I contemplated running away but my dreams were dashed once I realized I would have to take Jr with me wherever I went. Lucky for me, the doctor agreed that anything over 8lbs was unrealistic and unacceptable, if not down-right disgusting, so I would be induced before Mr. Giant Head made matters any worse. She scheduled my induction on May 26, my 30th birthday. A dream come true.
Spending your birthday in early labor is just as fun as it sounds. Some highlights include: contractions that accomplish nothing but pain, an epidural provided by a regular customer who got to see my big white pregnant lady ass up close, (I'm really looking forward to serving him again. I can picture it now: "...and a Guinness for you, sir. I do recommend the special, I think you'll really enjoy it. Remember when I was crying from pain and you gave me a giant injection in my back while my butt crack was in your face?" Maybe he'll turn out to be one of those people who doesn't recognize me when I'm not in my work uniform. And so rarely do I wait tables sans pants. I tried asking the nurse for some of those fancy disposable panties to put on before he arrived but he got there too quickly). Also, they gave me a sweet drug that was supposed to help me sleep and another to dull the pain of the contractions. Well guess who had an adverse reaction to Dr. Feelgood? This guy. The pain meds did not work at all and the "relaxing " drug actually gave me a terrifying panic attack which caused me not to recognize my mother or my husband. It lulled me to sleep for just about one minute and I would wake up in terror and pain when the contractions hit. I was crying for help and yelling at them to stop staring at me all in the same breath and finally was lucid enough for like 2 seconds to tell them that I was having what amounted to a bad trip while tethered to a hospital bed, in labor and in the dark while something close to a tornado was raging outside, and needed I the antidote. I actually had to say it to their backs, as I recall, because I made them turn around to reduce the "staring". Turns out the antidote was Benadryl. Go figure. All in all it was an awesome evening. In another lifetime I would have spent the evening nearly passed out in a dark room, begging for drugs and wondering if I should put some underwear on just in case I needed my dignity intact...oh wait... At least it took the sting out of turning 30.
First thing Friday morning I got to start pushing which was a hell of a lot of fun and certainly beats some of the post-birthday hangovers I've had in the past. I was so worried about being cold because the room was freezing all day. What a joke! You get hotter than you could ever imagine. Ever. And, that, I soon realized, is the fist signal that you are descending into hell. I felt really grateful that no one was cheering me on or calling the baby by his name like that was going to make him come out faster. I knew I wouldn't be able to take that kind of nonsense. My sister, however, was just full of jokes. She and Matt were on either side of the bed laughing it up. I don't remember what was said but I do recall deciding I didn't like her anymore. The woman took a picture of the placenta, to give you an idea of what I was dealing with. But we're getting ahead of ourselves here.
After pushing for 3 hours, hearing "he's almost here! We can see his hair" out of the lying mouths of people I used to call family, the midwife decided to call in a doctor to vacuum the child out. I have never been happier to see a human being in my life than I was when she arrived- not even my kid. I was on the verge of walking out. Or, again, realizing I had to take the hairy bowling ball with me wherever I went, making my way to the operating room and preforming a C-section on myself. There was no fucking way I could make that baby come out with all this "push" business. Just wasn't happening. And, on her end, "pull" wasn't going so well either. No. Not only did she employ medical grade weaponry, but apparently used her hands to destroy me as well. Are forceps no longer an option? Cause God forbid we shimmy those things in there. Human hands would obviously be a better choice. Really? Forceps damage the baby's head? You should have seen that damn thing when they flung him on my belly. It was like a foot long. Damage done, my friends. Matt says the look on my face when they gave me the misshapen baby was one of sheer horror. He, you see, has never experienced what it is like to have one person reach inside you and pull out another person. With their hands. I was not horrified so much at the baby (though the thought of being a mother to an alien headed newborn after going through that labor certainly was terrifying) but at the notion of never, ever being able to un-know the things that had just happened to me or to forgive my offspring for having been responsible for them. But I got a good look at him while the doctor sewed me back together and he wasn't so bad. Pretty much what I expected. His head was regular baby shape in no time, within a few hours. And yeah, I told everyone while they were weighing him and photographically documenting the afterbirth, kidney stones were worse. So at least now that's settled.
I keep hearing a lot of things like "oh, you forget all about the pain" to which I reply, "no, no you don't. Please mind your own business while I sit on a block of ice for the next two weeks". My personal favorite was from the nurse who came to help me to the bathroom after the delivery, who, crouching in front of me waiting to see if I peed, told me "yeah, the first baby is always hard. It paves the way for the next ones though"- literally an hour after I had given birth. Next one? Are you serious right now? You just took out my epidural and you've already got me pregnant a second time? Hell no. While they took the baby to clean off all the uterine grime I told Matt that I was glad he is open to the idea of adopting children if we choose to expand our family. Cause I'm sure as hell not going through all that again! You can have it, Mrs. Duggar!